PETER DYKHUIS at SCAM (Saints Cyril and Methodius Contemporary Art Gallery, 36 Claremont, side entrance) until December 1. 416-603-0075. Rating: NNNN
there's no way that the folks behind Saints Cyril and Methodius Contemporary Art Gallery expect to be taken entirely seriously. If they did, they wouldn't push their acronym -- SCAM -- quite so hard while promoting their debut with what seems to be a one-off show in the basement of a converted (to private residences) church two blocks north of the prime Queen West gallery strip on Claremont.Still, the art on view demands attention. Ex-Torontonian Peter Dykhuis (he currently runs a gallery at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design) exhibits Cross Words, a series of multi-panel encaustic and lacquer paintings based on weather satellite photos. Each work is a series of square panels that contain single letters spelling out two-word phrases (Dead Lines, Cross Hairs, Trojan Horse), crossword style.
Dykhuis has shown related works in Halifax and Moosejaw. The timing of the Toronto gig seems utterly inspired, given the strong anti-war sentiment expressed in these images. The title piece depicts a map fragment of the U.S. painted as combat camouflage. No room for ambiguity here -- Dykhuis is spelling out his views on militaristic aggression.